LAWMAKERS TO GET UPDATE ON INVASIVE SPECIES THREATS

Honolulu (January 6, 2015) – The Senate Committee on Energy and Environment (ENE) and House Committee on Energy and Environment Protection (EEP) have scheduled an informational briefing on Tuesday, January 13, 2015 at 10 a.m. in conference room 225 to get an update on invasive species threats to Hawaii. The committees will hear from state departments and organizations tasked with implementing the programs for the prevention, control, research and outreach related to invasive species issues.

The Department of Agriculture will be bringing deceased specimens of invasive species including the coconut rhinoceros beetle, little fires ant, coffee berry borer, coqui frog, brown tree snake, stinging nettle caterpillar, and Madagascar hissing cockroach.

“Invasive species threaten our quality of life, native species, the health of our agricultural industries and the economy as a whole,” said Sen. Mike Gabbard, chair of ENE. “Whether it’s little fire ants, coconut rhinoceros beetles, coqui frogs, or albizia, all our communities are being negatively impacted. Eliminating the spread of invasive species continues to be a top priority for lawmakers. We’ll be looking at a variety of legislation this session to continue the fight against invasive species.”

“The spread of invasive species is an environmental and economic issue,” added Rep. Chris Lee, chair of the EEP Committee. “In recent months, we’ve seen the coffee berry borer make its way from Hawaii Island to Oahu and possibly now Maui. This briefing will help inform lawmakers on current threats, what preventive and offensive measures are in place, and what more can be done.”

Presentations by:
· The Nature Conservancy
· Hawaii Invasive Species Council
· Department of Agriculture – Plant Quarantine Branch
· Department of Agriculture – Plant Pest Control Branch
· Invasive Species Committees
· Department of Land and Natural Resources – Division of Forestry and Wildlife
· Watershed Partnerships
· Department of Land and Natural Resources – Division of Aquatic Resources

More information on the briefing can be found on the hearing notice: http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2015/hearingnotices/HEARING_ENE-EEP...

###